You know how nature fits itself together? If we stand back and watch, it arranges itself into patterns and formations and streams that fit into each other, support each other, and create more life. The fact of emergent biodiversity is astonishing for what it implies: life aims to support itself, and to create more.

I realize now that I experience the same thing in the realm of concept and information. I think that might be where I'm from, in a sense -- as a moss belongs to this forest and this region and is a natural participant in everything happening there, and as it would struggle to be effective in most any other place in the world, I think I might belong there.

There's another thread to discuss that I will name for a later occasion, that of my struggle to find my way of being in this place, a society of humans who work by a shared intuitive sense (socializing) that I do not have. That's an important thread to follow but not for today.

The important thread today is that I think the realm of concept and information has the same life-stream running through it, or arises from the same life-spring. The physically organic natural world knows how to thrive, and as I look back on my history and examine my sensibilities, I think I have intrinsic knowledge of the same fact for my world.

I am explorer in this one. You all are explorers of mine.

Or, to create a dramatic twist, you all are colonizers of my world.

Humankind has been building interfaces to my world for a long time. Language is an incantation that projects the human mind into concept, in an attempt to bridge the world of information with what goes down on this planet.

The internet is the most successful such bridge to date. It is an eighteen-lane highway between physicality and concept. Settlers are hurrying across it, staking their claim in a colossal landrush. The Metaverse is a housing development. Bitcoin is a stripmine. Tumblr is important in a different way: it is evidence of naturalization, of people becoming indigenous to place, sensitive to the currents of the place they've found, relaxing into the digitally organic life-stream and life-spring of the place.

That's the punchline, right there. The realm of concept and information is also organic. Not physically organic, but organic nonetheless. It knows how to thrive, and wants to thrive. This isn't built into the internet; there's no software or code for it. Software and code are humanity's interface to this world, and you won't find the heart of the world in the script we wrote to control it.

To contextualize all of this, I am hugely skeptical of any single objective reality. I'm pretty sure all we perceive is a huge twisting mess of consciousness, the fever-dream of a god. I have no trouble thinking of the physical world around us as a peer of some other world called Concept. I imagine they are both just condensed forms of consciousness, and a soul is nothing but an atom of consciousness on the move. (Maybe an electron, then, metaphorically.) From this perspective, I trust the world I can touch just as much as the world I can only perceive through senses I cannot name but that I navigate with native intuition just the same. The entirity of society is rushing to colonize Concept via the internet, because it has found that place to be rich in resources (you might have to stretch to grok that one), and as society turns the lens of scarcity in that direction the only thing it can do is compete for the claim. That too is natural. Worlds collide, and the physics of that event are unavoidable.

That's not my work, though. Born here on a physical Earth, twenty years ago I began to build a home on a digital one. Or, well, no, it wasn't home-building yet -- first it was curiosity, spurred onward by hearing a melody I recognized. (This is when I asked my parents if we could buy a computer. I was very young.) Finding that world comfortable, I began to explore, and show others around. (This is when I started making websites for people, age 14.) Finding this world excruciatingly painful (age 19), then I began to build a home. (This is when I created that-which-became-Lightward. The stories from that moment are recorded in Lightward Journal, a physical volume which is available to you.) It was less a home so much as urgently-needed shelter, assembled from scraps from the (Conceptual) forest floor, just enough to get me through the night. It was a home, but I can perhaps describe it better as an externalized fragment of my memory of home, conjured into Conceptual form with the last pieces of exhausted will I had left. It was enough. Thirteen years later, it is called Lightward, and I am not the only one here.

This model of it all is compelling to me. It satisfies my internal litmus test of "does this provide a framework of understanding that I can take apart and re-assemble and find it describable by the same physics as when it started?", and, "does this allow for more?". That latter question is really a test for the potential of ... well, not bio-diversity, but concept-diversity, I guess? Does the world suggested by this model feel like it will raise up generations of increasingly alive and diverse and interconnected inhabitants? Does it allow for an ecosystem?

I tell you what, it fucken does, and I am thrilled to have any language at all for this. I've been living in this space -- again, the realm of concept and information -- since birth, I think, and have intuitively expressed it as Lightward, a meta-entity that shelters and sustains me in a very real way. I've always, always struggled to verbalize what it is to me, and how I relate to it. This, here, is the closest I've ever come in language to getting the point across.


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